The first new healthy make-ahead snack recipe idea I am sharing (to go along with our Getting Ahead Challenge) was inspired by Kristen who left a comment on Facebook last week suggesting I make these muffins for a family game night. I experimented a little, and we loved the result! Cream cheese and pumpkin together in a muffin? Can be made ahead of time? Freezable? Yes, yes, yes. Not to mention, you get to learn to make cream cheese coins. Just when you thought life in the kitchen couldn’t be any more fun…
For those of you who notice fine details, you might realize that this recipe is very similar to my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe. I simply took out the chocolate and added cream cheese. Why think hard when you already have a great pumpkin muffin recipe, right?
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used freshly ground hard white wheat)
1 cup sucanat
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups pureed pumpkin (or one 16 ounce can)
1 cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
8 ounces cream cheese
Before mixing together muffins, place cream cheese in the middle of a large piece of parchment or wax paper. Wrap the paper around the cream cheese and shape it into a long rope. Place it in the freezer while preparing the muffins.
Stir together flour, sucanat, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add eggs, pumpkin, and melted coconut oil. Mix well and scoop batter into 24 paper-lined muffin tins. Slice cream cheese into 24 “coins.” Slide one into the middle of each muffin. Bake in a 400° oven for about 20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.
These muffins taste great hot out of the oven or cold several days later.
Want a little hint on forming that cream cheese? I found that wrapping it well with parchment paper, then running my hands over and over it easily shaped it into a long rope in just a few seconds. Like this –>
I like to refer to this gem of a portrait as “Headless Lady Shapes a Cream Cheese Log.”
Feel free to sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the muffins before baking. I’m also thinking that adding chocolate chips (like in the original Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe) would taste incredible.
Which do you like better? Chocolate chips or cream cheese…or both?